Thursday, December 01, 2005

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad

(Shall talk about the exams later, this is more important.)

(Excuse my writing, I haven't written a decent review since... I can't even remember.)

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad is an anime based on the manga by Harold Sakuishi. It tells the story of a 14-year-old boy named Tanaka Yukio who discovers music as a way out from the bedlam that was his existence.

Koyuki, as our hero is called, lives the typical adolescent's life. He's perpetually bored. He listens to pop music. He peeks at the girls in the swimming pool. He has a crush on an older girl named Ishiguro Izumi, who was the only person who would notice him when they were younger. All this changes when he saves a weird-looking dog, named Beck, from some mean kids then meets the dog's owner, Minami Ryuusuke who, Koyuki learns later on, used to play with Eddie Lee of now legendary rock band, The Dying Breed.

Through Izumi, he's initiated into rock music and even learns to play the guitar. He displays genius in this area, and is pretty soon playing and singing for a rock band named Beck (yes, after the dog) with Ryuusuke on lead guitar, Taira Yoshiyuki on bass guitar, Sakurai Yuji on drums and Chiba Tsunemi on vocals. Beck earns a lot of fans, but the horizon doesn't always seem clear as the band pushes against Eiji, Ryuusuke's former bandmate who's willing to use any dirty trick it would take to be succesful, Eiji's band manager Ran, who's a hotshot and thus uses his influence to slow down Beck's success, and add to that the mystery behind Beck the dog and Lucille, Ryuusuke's bullet-ridden guitar.

And of course, let's not forget, the love angle. Koyuki has had a crush on Izumi-chan since forever but then he meets Minami Maho, Ryuusuke's younger sister. Trouble, indeed.

The first thing you notice about Beck is the music. I find it extremely hard to fast-forward through the opening and ending themes as I usually do with every anime. The music just grabs you and commands you to bang your head and raise your fist in the air like some rock junkie. And Beck is always filled with music. From the live houses to the restaurants, to band practice, or even to Koyuki's room. It's OST is definitely worth buying, because of the great rock you'll find there.

The story also progresses nicely, and is exceptionally done, considering that this anime is only 26 episodes long. The story spans about three years long and 26 episodes doesn't sound long enough, but surprisingly, they manage to pull it off quite nicely.

Beck also has very interesting and real characters. From Koyuki who morphs from boring teenage boy to guitar genius, Chiba who is too surprising and too funny for words (OMG, who would have thought he's Class Head???!), gambling-man Ryuusuke, intense and mature Taira, loyal Saku, to mind-boggling, bad-girl Maho. The characters are distinct enough, but their personalities don't just rule them, if you know what I mean.

Admittedly, the English is in this anime is still cringe-worthy, and sometimes even giggle-inducing. Ryuusuke and Maho supposedly grew up in New York, but their accents still don't cut it. Most of the songs they sing here are in English, so expect Engrish all around. But once you get over that it just keeps getting better.

All in all, Beck. Rocks. Yeah. If I were rating this I'd give it 90 stars, because the Engrish damages it a bit, but hey, nothing's perfect. Beck's one of those things that make me wish my singing voice is more suited for rock, and that I could have my guitar back for practice and maybe even a spark of genius (wishful thinking). Definitely worth watching. I'm surprised it isn't that popular yet, coz it has all the elements that make an obsession: Anime + hot guys + rock music + more anime.

(You people have no idea how close this review was to turning into a fangirl post... Tsk, tsk.)


At 4:56 PM, Blogger Liane said...

Yes, I felt you were holding back some squeals there.

I wish i knew anime but it sounds like a cool one.

About the ripway account, omgl, I didn't know. Or I did. Waaaaa. I already emailed but I doubt..

And I haven't asked you your address. Just in case so I can send you stuff like the school paper! Or letters from people here.

*crossing my fingers for your exam*

At 5:26 PM, Blogger tomoe said...

Yeah, I was just going to fangirl, but I wanted you to understand what I was talking about, being one of the two people who read this blog. *rofl*

I think ripway would revive your account. You're a customer, you know. XD

OMG, are you serious about sending me stuff??? It's expensive. -_-;;; Sometimes I don't think I deserve to have you as a friend... I'm just too evil.


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